T20K, Cyxone‘s lead compound for treating multiple sclerosis (MS), seems able to prevent or slow disease progression, according to data from preclinical studies. Based on these findings, the company is confident that T20K might become a prophylactic (preventive) medication for MS in the near future.
T20K is a unique compound derived from a plant protein. Researchers from the Medical University of Vienna (Austria) and the University Medical Center in Freiburg (Germany) were the first to show that T20K was able to block the activity of pro-inflammatory cytokines (molecules that mediate immune and inflammatory responses), such as interleukin-2 (IL-2), and reduce symptoms of MS in animal models of the disease without toxic side effects.
Preclinical studies carried out last year have shown how T20K is absorbed and distributed in the body. Based on these findings, researchers expect that the medication can be administered at low doses, every two weeks or monthly. They believe that preventive treatment with T20K may have a significant effect on the long-term quality of life for MS patients.
Results also showed that T20K is slowly eliminated from the body, meaning that at any given time very small amounts of the compound are in circulation, which reduces the risk of drug toxicity. This also means that T20K may be prescribed to patients immediately once they are diagnosed, or shortly after, to slow disease progression in such a way that the patient’s next disease flare-up would be delayed and possibly less severe.
Following this strategy, the company is confident that T20K will be in a good position to become a new prophylactic treatment designed to prevent or reduce the frequency of MS episodes, unlike other medications that are designed to treat active disease flare-ups.
“If T20K continues to demonstrate its effect in human studies, which we have no indications otherwise, we believe that this could transform the way we look at severe autoimmune diseases such as MS. Both how we treat the disease but also how patients perceive a diagnosis since their outlook would have changed,” Kjell G. Stenberg, CEO of Cyxone, said in a press release.
“We are excited to know more about [T20K] abilities in the upcoming clinical studies,” Stenberg added.